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Old 10-01-2018, 05:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Raining, then pouring. 350 TBI tech on a Monday

I am down here in a sub-tropical paradise with two vehicles, basic tools and not much else save a tiny garage.

My '88 Chevy K1500 was sitting - outside in the sun - for two weeks. I have had this veehickel since new and it has sat for longer periods with nary a problem.

Anyway, I went to start it today. Cranks but no start, no fire. Batteries (two) are fresh with plenty of charge.

What would cause this to die from sitting this short period? (No diagnostic work yet performed.)

My first thought is fuel pump, which was replaced once back around the turn of the century. At the time I cut an access panel so the pump can be changed from the top - although it is still a PITA to get your hands in there.

My second thought is a stuck fuel pump relay from cooking in a humid area. Long shot, prolly, but easily checked.

I kind of doubt it is ignition. I can crank after spritzing fuel doen the throttle body to quickly rule that out.

My biggest issue is logistical. To get to the access panel in the bed I have to unload the bed and remove the bed liner, which sounds simple but I have no where to put the shit in the interim. I might have to ferry it all someplace else bit at a time.

If it is the pump, I can try smacking the tank from the bottom while cranking. Maybe that will free the pump so I can at least drive the truck to a better spot.

What about removing the batteries, jumping in series and hot wiring the pump with 24 volts? That might free it. Never tried that, though.

Money is tight. Is it risky to just replace the pump as opposed to the whole shit?

Thoughts and advice welcome.
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Old 10-01-2018, 05:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Checking fuel pressure doesn't seem too hard, and you would eliminate the filter as an issue.

https://youtu.be/qHcOS7FY148
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Old 10-01-2018, 06:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Will it run on starting fluid?
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Old 10-01-2018, 06:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Will it run on starting fluid?
This too. Then you know it isn't an air or spark issue.
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Old 10-01-2018, 06:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Checking fuel pressure doesn't seem too hard, and you would eliminate the filter as an issue.

https://youtu.be/qHcOS7FY148
I actually have a pressure gauge mounted behind the throttle body.

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Will it run on starting fluid?
This is an easy check.

I have not done any diagnostic work yet. No time. But the above two checks are easy and the first things to try.

Hoping against hope it is not the pump because that is going to be a bitch for the reasons cited.
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Old 10-01-2018, 06:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Those were bad about the distributor taking a shit. Shaft gets worn and takes out the pickup.
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Old 10-01-2018, 06:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Those were bad about the distributor taking a shit. Shaft gets worn and takes out the pickup.
Well, maybe.

I just ran out to the truck and enlisted someone to turn the key.

There is fuel pressure - rises to 12 psi (low-pressure TBI system) and falls as it should in response to the key.

I was concerned that I could not see any fuel squirting out of the injectors - so I dumped some gas right down the throttle body. No difference, not even a cough.

I checked for spark and there was none.

I initially suspect the coil, since it is the one that came on the truck when I took delivery in September of 1987.

Are there any diagnostics for the dizzy module (was replaced about 10 years ago) other than replacing it? I can easily check the shaft for wobble with the cap off.
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Old 10-01-2018, 06:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If it is the pump, I can try smacking the tank from the bottom while cranking. Maybe that will free the pump so I can at least drive the truck to a better spot.

.
Down here thatís called a Mexican fuel pump replacement.

Turn the key on and smack the bottom of the tank with a hammer. You only have 2 seconds to do it, so itís best to get someone to turn on the key, while you smack it.

Odds are, this is it, but who knows.
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Old 10-01-2018, 06:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Do some basic ign troubleshooting. Plenty of information on the web


Where are you located? I probably have piles of spares
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Last edited by RSWORDS; 10-01-2018 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 10-01-2018, 06:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Before I pulled the distributor I’d check for spark at the coil as well as 12 volts to the coil. If I recall correctly from a previous thread you are slightly south of me so if you need some help or tools let me know.
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Old 10-01-2018, 06:55 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Do some basic ign troubleshooting. Plenty of information on the web


Where are you located? I probably have piles of spares
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Before I pulled the distributor Iíd check for spark at the coil as well as 12 volts to the coil. If I recall correctly from a previous thread you are slightly south of me so if you need some help or tools let me know.
I am in south Florida, west of Lauderdale.

RSW, if you have some spares and feel like filling a small flat rate box, let me know. (Figuring a coil and a dizzy module.)

WJ, thank you and if I run into a bind I might take you up on that.
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Old 10-01-2018, 07:25 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Check all grounds with a test light, moist air like that can corrode things quickly. Go from positive battery terminal to the body/frame/ engine block ect. Also do the paper clip trick on the diagnostic port, and see if there’s any codes.
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Old 10-01-2018, 07:44 PM   #13 (permalink)
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https://easyautodiagnostics.com/gm/4...ed-icm-tests-1

Fixed mine following this guide. Same thing as you, truck sat a while, then no spark. The pickup coil rotted out.
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Old 10-01-2018, 07:45 PM   #14 (permalink)
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My vote is the Module.

I have a truck in the shop right now, the customer changed the distributor and the new one was bad right out of the box.

Someone around you is gonna have a spare...use that for testing.
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Old 10-01-2018, 08:59 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Ignition module let go. This is common.
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Old 10-01-2018, 09:00 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Ignition module let go. This is common.
Yup.

Or the pickup coil in the dizzy. Fucking annoying too on those trucks.
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Old 10-02-2018, 05:43 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I am in south Florida, west of Lauderdale.

RSW, if you have some spares and feel like filling a small flat rate box, let me know. (Figuring a coil and a dizzy module.)

WJ, thank you and if I run into a bind I might take you up on that.
PM me an addy
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Old 10-02-2018, 06:57 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Make sure and put some heatsink paste on the new EST when you change it out.
FYI those EST's will fire the coil without a signal from the ECU, the ECU signal is just a advance/retard degrees signal.
As long as you have +12 to the big pink wire on the coil, and its feeding +12 back to the EST it should get spark.
The injector fire signal comes from the pickup coil via the est module.
I've not seen a bad pickup coil, but the est's do go bad. I'd start by swapping the est, easy to do without pulling the dizzy.
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Old 10-02-2018, 07:22 AM   #19 (permalink)
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dry the distributor?
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Old 10-02-2018, 08:03 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I have never had great luck with the ignition module on these. I have mine routed to the inner fender now on a computer heat sink, and so far so good.

That or pickup coil as mentioned are my guesses, but grounds go to hell on these in humid climates all the time. Corrosion in the computer is also a possibility, but less likely if the truck has working AC and doesn't sit with the windows down all the time.
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Old 10-02-2018, 05:43 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Thanks to all that have replied. I might not be able to get back to the truck until the weekend, and RSW is graciously sending a CARE package.

The issue must be somewhere in the coil - module - pickup triad.

I did not know that the module will keep the injectors from firing if it is not happy. My injectors are not. Might be a vote for a bad module; not yet sure.
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Old 10-02-2018, 06:18 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Thanks to all that have replied. I might not be able to get back to the truck until the weekend, and RSW is graciously sending a CARE package.

The issue must be somewhere in the coil - module - pickup triad.

I did not know that the module will keep the injectors from firing if it is not happy. My injectors are not. Might be a vote for a bad module; not yet sure.
I'll send tu ou the random crap that I have stashes form random projects. No promise any of its better then what you got though. Lol
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Old 10-02-2018, 07:41 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I'll send tu ou the random crap that I have stashes form random projects. No promise any of its better then what you got though. Lol
Whatever does not work in my truck will be used to make my YJ faster. Now that I'm a race winner I have to keep a step ahead.
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Old 10-02-2018, 08:18 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Check the ground wires to the thermostat housing area.
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Old 10-02-2018, 08:50 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Check the ground wires to the thermostat housing area.
Oh yeah, I had that ring terminal break after a cam swap. Drive me nuts for days.

I also had a distributor that broke the pickup wire below the module. Swapped in my spare module and it fired right up, then died. Get pissed and grab a new dizzy, found the wire broken below the module. Messing with it would touch until it ran and vibrated loose.
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